The tech-enabled high-end home insurance provider Openly has begun selling in Illinois and Arizona at the same time it announced a $7.65M seed round of funding led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund.
Openly’s first product is a homeowners insurance product aimed at agents and customers who want broad coverage. With the new capital Openly said it plans to add Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee in the next few months, and with four more states in the near future.
The company also plans to launch complementary product lines, such as automobile insurance.
Openly is a managing general agency. Its coverages are underwritten by companies that are members of Clear Blue Insurance Group including Rock Ridge, Clear Blue Insurance Co. and Clear Blue Specialty Insurance Co.
Openly says its “sweet spot” is homes in the $400,000 to $3 million replacement cost range. Openly sells its up-market home insurance exclusively through independent insurance agents, offering them technology, unique products, pricing and lead generation support.
“Some people in the tech world think that the term ‘insurance agent’ refers to a relic of the past, but they’re wrong,” said Ty Harris, CEO and co-founder of Openly. “At Openly, we know agents add value by delivering objective advice and options to their clients. Our goal is to help agents as they work to modernize their businesses.”
Using data sources, predictive models and artificial intelligence, Openly promises agents they can generate quotes for their customers in less than 20 seconds, while customers need answer only three questions.
Openly says its homeowners products offer more complete coverage for more loss types than standard policies. Openly’s main homeowners policy can be used for multiple occupancy types, including primary, seasonal, secondary, and rented to others. It offers features such as guaranteed replacement cost up to $5 million, open perils contents coverage, and high water backup limits. The policy also contains optional special endorsements covering personal cyber, equipment breakdown and home-sharing. The company is also adding flood and umbrella liability coverages as endorsements on its home policies.
“Underwriting is tied less to traditional flags (pools, dogs, wires, etc.) and more to an overall automated assessment of the client’s loss propensity, based on dozens of factors,” the company tells agents on its website. “You will find that our pricing and underwriting is somewhat “contrarian” relative to many other carriers. For that reason, Openly will sometimes be the market you need to close a particular client.”
Openly’s founders have roots in Boston and experience in insurance and technology. Co-founder and CEO Harris is an actuary who was previously chief product officer at Liberty Mutual. His co-founder and chief technology officer, Matt Wielbut, was the vice president of technology at Goldman Sachs and also ran his own retail insurance agency.
Openly’s investors also include iGreenlight Re, PJC, Techstars Ventures and The Hanover Insurance Group.
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